One of the cool things about League of Legends is Summoner Spells. If you read a bit of the lore behind the game, you’ll realize that you, the player, are part of the lore in an interesting way. As Summoners, League of Legends players summon champions from Runeterra, i.e., the universe of League of Legends. You are, in fact, partaking in the various conflicts in the realm of Runeterra itself!
As Summoners, you can choose up to two summoner spells to aid your champion in combat. Two well-known spells in League of Legends are the ‘Exhaust’ and ‘Barrier.’
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What is Exhaust?
Can you relate to the feeling when you are exhausted? Drained of energy and the will to move, you feel unable to do any serious work and would rather lay down and rest. Now imagine having the ability to force this on enemy champions. Slowing down enemy champions and reducing the damage they can do is what Exhaust does.
It is a summoner targeted spell that slows down enemy champions and drains them of energy in a manner of speaking, allowing you and your teammates to attack the enemy in their weakest moment. You can equip this spell on either the ‘D’ or ‘F’ button. Exhaust even reduces the damage dealt by enemy champions (excluding true damage).
What is Barrier?
Have you ever been in situations in League of Legends where you felt if you had just a little bit more health or a temporary shield during the heat of the battle, you would have a massive edge over your opponents? That is where Exhaust comes in handy. It is a temporary shield that blocks a limited amount of incoming damage.
Barrier, if used in the right place at the right time, can give you an edge. It can also surprise your opponents, who might not be expecting you to make such moves that are possible by using Barrier as a summoner spell.
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When to Use Exhaust?
Exhaust is best used when trying to take down an enemy champion. It is instrumental in team fights. Supports often equip Exhaust because it helps them set the tone and pace of the combat in bot lane.
Supports can choose the place and time of battle and, by using Exhaust, can ensure the enemy AD carry is killed. You would want to preserve Exhaust until you are sure you can kill the enemy AD carry by using it or when your team’s jungler comes down for a gank.
Another possible use of Exhaust is when you want to play aggressively, regardless of the lane. Top laners sometimes use Exhaust plus Ignite when they want to push the lane.
If you see an enemy having Exhaust in the mid lane or top lane, be sure to have your guard up because that player will be aggressive against you. Exhaust is used in the mid-lane and top lane when you want to play on the front foot and keep the pressure on the enemy champion.
It can be handy in setting up the enemy champion for a gank by your Jungler or other teammates if you can have the enemy champion pinned down by your champion’s abilities and ultimate.
Apply Exhaust which makes it difficult for enemies to escape your attacks, and then a gank by one of your teammates can close the kill. Although many Junglers don’t use Exhaust, if you see a Jungler with this summoner spell equipped, it could mean that the player is serious about getting kills.
Note, however, that Cleanse will reverse the effects of Exhaust. Furthermore, if more than one player in a team has Exhaust equipped, and all of them use it on an enemy champion, the effects of the spell will not be compounded. In other words, using multiple Exhaust spells on an enemy will not make them extra slow. It will, however, double the duration of the effect of this spell.
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When to Use Barrier?
There are many exciting ways in which Barrier can be used. League of Legends players have explored many scenarios where Barrier can be used best. Here are a few situations where Barrier can be used effectively.
If you want to dive under a tower and surprise the enemy by coming into dangerous territory, Barrier can be put to good use because it will give you a temporary shield that blocks enemy damage, including turret damage. Enemies can be caught off guard when you use Barrier in these situations, giving you just enough time to close in for a kill.
If you are snowballing and having the time of your life with a high K/D/A (kills, deaths, assists ratio), enemies will likely focus on you to try and bring you down.
In teamfights, their support will try to pin you down, crowd control and area of effect damages will be targeted to trap you, and their tank will attempt to engage you in battle. In these situations, having an extra bit of protection by using the Barrier spell can be helpful.
Sometimes, ADCs equip Barrier to protect themselves against ganks. This spell can be effective for hyper carries such as Vayne, i.e., a champion who may not be so strong early to mid-game but can do exceptional damage in the late game.
Using Barrier early in the game can save you in life-threatening situations and ensure the enemy AD carry is not too fed when you need to bide your time and wait for your champion to come to full strength late in the game.
Exhaust vs. Barrier – Which One is Better?
Both spells can be very useful if used at the right time in the right place. The choice of which spell is better depends on several factors.
These factors include your playing style (aggressive or defensive), your champion, your lane, your experience playing with the champion, the composition of the enemy team, your team’s strategy, team tactics, etc.
Different players might give different answers about which spell is better. It all depends on how effectively you can use Exhaust and Barrier.